author, John Perrott, graduated from UC Berkeley in engineering, a
fourth generation Californian, from gold rush pioneer stock. He was
born on a cattle ranch near Eureka, northern California, where his
great aunt Laura Perrott Mahan was a early leader in the conservation
movement as a founder of Save The Redwoods, in the 1920's. His aunt
Vera Perrott Vietor created the philanthropic Humbolt Area Foundation
in the 1970's. The author published "Bush For The Bushmen" in 1992,
and created Save The Kalahari San in 1993.
After his military career as a Navy flyer,
his 35 year engineering construction career took him around the
globe, to many remote and exotic places. His only 'In USA' assignment
was on the Alaska pipeline in the mid-70's. During his seventeen
years in Africa, he went 'bush' whenever possible, mixing with the
natives and wildlife. He learned Swahili in East Africa in order
to live and communicate with the indigenous people in the outback
without guide or translator. Perrott says "I've lived in San Francisco
but I left my heart in Africa". Additionally he has traveled from
Tibet to Timbuktu, Mongolia to Machu Picchu, Kilimamjaro to the
Coral Sea and more, as an adventure traveler, photographer and diver.
On his rare visit with the Kalahari
Bushmen, Perrott and his travel companions led by Dr. Jack Wheeler,
were profoundly touched by the small group of nomadic hunter gathers
with whom they spent time. Like those who enchanted moviegoers in
"THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY", the Bushmen were dressed in skins and
were managing to still survive in the Kalahari thirstland, hunting
with poisoned arrows and gathering what sparse food they could find,
living 'stone age' simple. The group were dismayed to find the onslaught
of civilization (especially cattle) is rapidly dispossessing them
of their last God given bush and wild animals, and now their very
extinction is imminent.
John Perrott has worked in the rugged
wilds of Iran Jaya with the head hunters who killed young Rockefeller
in the late 1960's. He ramrodded the building of an oil pipeline
across the rugged Andes in Colombia, despite anti-government guerrillas
and torrential rains. He brings this same 'can do' spirit that built
billion dollar projects, to saving the Kalahari ecosystem and the
San. He is a 'hard-nosed-construction stiff'-cum-Sans 'pragmatic-bleeding
heart'! His visits with a small family clan in the Kalahari was
like a 'time machine voyage' back to before the agricultural revolution
"to visit our oldest living relatives, to see OURSELVES, discover
our roots". He appeals to humanity to save a people whose peace,
calm and attunement with nature we 'civilized' people can only envy.
Semi-retired now and living in Texas,
Perrott is devoting time and efforts to the cause of the Bushmen.
He finances these activities by responding to calls to put out the
Kuwait oil fires or plan pipelines in Papau New Guinea, Sumatra
or the Algerian Sahara, or a recent 10 month stint in Mozambique
projecting a 900 square mile game reserve (Approved by the Mozambique
government in October of 1996). If Perrott had his way, he'd open
the sanctuary to a few Bushmen to live and roam free with 'their'
endangered wildlife, as in the past. What better game guards than
'their' real owners?